May 22, 2022

Germany: Project Deal Suspends Negotiations with Elsevier

From a Mechanical Translation (via Google Translate) of a Project DEAL/German Rectors’ Conference Statement*:

Elsevier’s excessive demands have forced us to suspend the negotiations of the DEAL project of the Alliance of Scientific Organizations with the publisher.” This was reported by the negotiator and spokesman of the DEAL Steering Committee, Prof. Dr. med. Horst Hippler, President of the German Rectors’ Conference, just in Bonn, where the last conversation took place this week.

“In the current negotiations with the three largest scientific publishers, we want to arrive at a sustainable model of publishing and reading scientific literature. On the one hand, our goal is to put an end to the ruinous price development of scientific journals for libraries. On the other hand, we want to promote open access, in essence making the results of publicly funded research freely accessible. Publishers can play a significant role in this. We want a sustainable, publishable & read model, ie a fair payment for the publication and then a free availability for the readers. However, Elsevier is still not prepared to offer a science-adequate scope of services under the principles of Open Access, which can be sustainably financed in terms of a Germany-wide contract according to this model, “says Hippler.

Read the Complete Translated Statement

* Original Post (in German)

From an Elsevier Statement:

Project DEAL and Elsevier agreed that the so-called Publish-and-Read model can play an important role in a transition towards gold open access. We also agreed that encouraging the transition to this model in Germany would be the basis for the national negotiations between Project DEAL and Elsevier. Moreover, there was agreement to work together to significantly accelerate the transition to open access in Germany. Despite those agreements and an attractive offer from Elsevier, Project DEAL and Elsevier were unable to agree an interim solution bridging the time needed to conclude negotiations for a national agreement.

Some German institutions decided not to renew individual contracts with Elsevier in anticipation of a national license. While Elsevier has maintained access for those institutions awaiting progress in the DEAL negotiations, we are now contacting those institutions to confirm their service requirements going forward.

We remain open to constructive talks to find a sustainable national solution in support of German research.

Read the Complete Statement

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.